Parents never want to see children struggle in school or in life. Instead, we have dreams and hopes for our children, even if we don’t always verbalize them. We want children to fit in, behave, pay attention, get good grades, have good friends, and enjoy school. As our children pass through elementary, middle and high school our expectations grow. However, what happens when children begin to struggle academically, socially, or behaviorally at school or in the home?

When symptoms begin to appear, it can feel like someone dumped a box of puzzle pieces on the floor in front of you with no cover to the box to show the big picture. The symptoms are noted by the teacher and shared, you see and hear the daily concerns and complaints – I don’t understand, I didn’t hear her, they didn’t follow directions, difficult time completing the work, reading is slow, writing is not legible. Many pieces to the puzzle but so many pieces missing.

A million questions arise? What are we to do? What is this? Where do we go for help? The aching for the child’s pain is haunting – What would this mean for their future? Did we cause this? How will he/she handle this?

Testing and receiving a differential diagnosis can begin to put the pieces together. Each child is designed uniquely with strengths and weaknesses. Understanding their special design can help them succeed. Proverbs 22:6 says “Train a child in the way he should go and he is old he will not turn from it. Knowing their design as explained in the diagnosis can create plans and interventions that bring success.

Strategies that match strengths can help children flourish. Yes, this is a difficult path on the journey filled with challenges and blessings. Later, upon reflection, it is possible to see the beautiful whole picture on the puzzle box cover and not just the pieces.

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